Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters

Andrew Morton. Grand Central, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0046-4
Biographer Morton (Diana: Her True Story) examines in this vibrant history the “push-and-pull between... deep love and primal jealousy” that bonded Queen Elizabeth II and her younger sister, Princess Margaret. Opening in 1936 as Edward VIII ceded the throne to his younger brother, George VI, Morton draws a sharp contrast between duty-bound George and self-indulgent Edward, and between Elizabeth and Margaret, who once confessed that “disobedience is my joy.” Growing up in Buckingham Palace under the care of Scottish governess Marion “Crawfie” Crawford, the sisters studied and played only with each other until May 1940, when they were evacuated to Windsor Castle, a “medieval fortress... virtually impregnable to aerial attack.” At Windsor, Elizabeth and Margaret got a taste of civilian life, mingling with Girl Guides and putting on plays. In 1947, however, their dynamic shifted inexorably when 21-year-old Elizabeth married Prince Philip. Elizabeth emerges in Morton’s account as a somewhat distant figure and a reluctant player in the Windsor family soap opera, while much attention is paid to Margaret’s intrigues, including her affair with Royal Air Force officer Peter Townsend in the 1950s, her 1978 divorce, and her falling-out with Princess Diana for “question[ing] Prince Charles’s fitness to be king” in a 1995 TV interview. Royal watchers will be enthralled. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/13/2021
Release date: 03/30/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7805-4
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